Pitches local and global, the somewhat self-indulgent and the world-saving, scored equally well at the College Pitch Philly competition Wednesday at the University Science Center's Quorum.
On the side of creature comforts, Andrew Nakkache (Class of 2016, Temple University) took home first place honors for a soon-launching app called Habitat that "makes it easy for college students on campus to order pickup and delivery from their favorite food trucks and local vendors." Typically, food trucks are not part of home (or dorm) food delivery services, but Nakkache found a high percentage of his fellow Temple students would be eager to order from trucks on the other side of campus. When launched, students who are willing to walk a mile – or stop at a truck on their way home – will be able to profit as food pickup and delivery staffers. Study up at tryhabitat.com.
On the side of the angels, UPenn molecular biology and engineering entrepreneurship senior Miranda Wang took the "People's Choice" award for BioCellection, a win-win strategy for both feeding fish and cleaning up the oceans. Collaborating with her biochem/environmental science colleague Jeanny Yao, the team has been growing edible yeast on the plastic baggies that pollute the oceans. It's claimed this yeast provides better nourishment for fish than the sea life now receives from conventional fishmeal (made from ground up fish.) The developers are also hoping to work their microbial process "to convert styrofoam into pure protein for agriculture," said Wang, in a pitch at biocellection.com.
Also scoring in the competition – a mix your own nail polish color kit called The Rungh System, developed by Temple class of 2018 student Neha Raman, took 2nd place. It's available on line for $39.99 at www.rungh.com.
Third place honors went to SayUmm, an app in-development that will let users practice their public speaking/presentation skills. They'll "work it" for the camera on their mobile phone, tablet or computer, and get instant critiques on pacing, language and how often they say "umm." Developer is Danish Dhammi, class of 2018 at Drexel University. You'll find the pitch at sayumm.co.
Sifting through and honoring the best concepts from 30 teams of undergraduates from colleges and universities in the region, CollegePitchPhilly spread $15,500 in awards from backers including Comcast., Wharton Entrepreneurship, RobinHood Ventures and NextFab.